HOUSTON — While California angler Brent Ehrler holds the lead after Saturday's second round of the 47th Bassmaster Classic, the day's winner was Lake Conroe.
Of the 52 anglers in the field, only 17 managed a five-bass limit Saturday, and only 12 were able to back up Friday's limit with another in the second round, despite much milder conditions than the 25-knot and 4-to-5-foot swells that gripped Lake Conroe in the opening day's fishing Friday.
Ehrler came in with 20 pounds, 1 ounce Saturday for a 43-4 two-day total, more than two pounds ahead of Erie, Pennsylvania veteran Dave Lefebre's 41-1.
Two of Louisiana's three Classic qualifiers, Pierre Part's Cliff Crochet and Ryan Lavigne from Gonzales survived the unsettled lake conditions and will compete in Sunday's final round.
Crochet, third after Friday, managed only theee bass Saturday (9-2) and was 11th with a 30-10 total. Lavigne, competing in his first Classic, was one of the dozen anglers with back-to-back limits. He's in 14th place with 29-13.
Gonzales national touring pro Greg Hackney, a 14-time Classic qualifier, hauled in only two bass weighing 5-9 Saturday for a 30th-place finish. After weighing five bass Friday, Hackney finished with 18 pounds, 15 ounces.
Only the top 25 after two days advance to Sunday's final.
Alabama angler Jordan Lee had Saturday's top stringer, 21 pounds on only four bass, and jumped from 37th place to 15th. While Tennessee's Skylar Hamilton didn't move on to Sunday, he can remember his first Classic for Saturday's heaviest bass, a 9-1 giant. He finished 41st.
And as for Conroe and its bass winning the day, six anglers failed to weigh a fish, including reigning Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle and former Classic champion Alton Jones Sr. Of the nine former Classic champions in the field, only Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Edwin Evers made the top 25 cut.
"Classic Live" will air from 7-10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday on the Bassmaster website, bassmaster.com, and also on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Bassmaster.com will carry BASSTrakk for a real-time leaderboard of the catch and estimated weight for anglers reporting from the lake.
The website will also carry Sunday afternoon's live weigh-in from Minute Maid Park.